TRIPOLI: Libya’s interim parliament voted Monday to extend the country’s postrevolutionary transition, giving itself an extra year to oversee the writing of a constitution and the holding of new elections, members said.
Islamist lawmaker Mohammad Sammoud says that 102 members out of 120 who attended the session voted in favor of the new transition plan, setting a deadline for drafting the country’s constitution to August.
That will be followed by elections, with a new parliament to be handed power by Dec. 24, 2014.
According to the old timetable, the current interim parliament should have elected a constituent panel, drafted the constitution, held a referendum on it and then called for parliamentary elections before February.
The decision is likely to spark anger among many Libyans. Demonstrations in recent months have denounced what they see as poor performance of the parliament and its government.
Since its election last year, the interim parliament has been deadlocked.
One bloc dominated by Islamists and another by non-Islamists control roughly equal numbers of votes. This split has made it difficult to pass key legislation.
Many Libyans have criticized the parliament for failing to come up with an effective policy to rein in powerful militias made up of former rebels who fought Gadhafi’s forces that have filled up the country’s security vacuum.
Parliament has also sparked controversy by passing a divisive law that banned those who held office under Gadhafi from holding key positions in new government. That law was passed virtually under gunpoint when militias imposed a blockade around key ministries.